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SAM Magazine--Pennsylvania, October 14, 2004--Laurel Mountain Ski Area has had its fair share of problems lately. The state-owned ski area, which has lived through several different concessionaires, may have finally found a home with Seven Springs Mountain Resort. The most recent concessionaire, George Mowl, took over operations in 1999. After investing millions of dollars in a new base lodge, lifts and snowmaking, Mowl suffered several bad years in a row and did not open last season. After Mowl announced that opening this season was doubtful, as well, the state terminated the lease and put the area's equipment on the block. There were no takers.

Enter Seven Springs. The resort, which lies 15 miles away, has paid the controlling bank an undisclosed fee to run the area this winter. Both the bank and Seven Springs will review the arrangement at the end of the season to see if, and how, they will continue.